A new report published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, has found the first connection between a common sunscreen ingredient and endometriosis, a painful condition where uterine tissue grows outside the uterus and potentially causes infertility.
Sunscreens and other beauty products that contain benzophenone (BP)-type ingredients-known for blocking harmful UV rays from the sun-can absorb through the skin and enter the bloodstream, where they mimic the effects of estrogen and may cause an increased risk of endometriosis, say the researchers. They found that women tend to have higher levels of BP in their urine when they live in sunnier climates and during the summer months when more sunscreen is typically applied.
Endometriosis, which affects one in 10 women of childbearing age, leads to pain, irregular menstrual bleeding and difficulty getting pregnant. While further research is needed, you can limit your risk by using sunscreens that don’t contain BP and rely primarily on zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to block UV rays. Try Aubrey Organics Natural Sun SPF 30+ Green Tea ($16). And if you are looking for face coverage as well as a little bit of color, Avene Tinted Compact SPF 50 ($29) is a great, safe option.
Find a Doctor
Find a NewBeauty "Top Beauty Doctor" Near you